The Hobgoblin: Ned Leeds

Real Name: Ned Leeds
First Appearance: As Ned Leeds, Amazing Spider-Man 18. As the Hobgoblin ... well, that gets tricky, but that might be him publicly introducing himself to the Rose in Amazing Spider-Man 253. Privately the two already knew each other, since Ned, under the control of Roderick Kingsley, helped Richard Fisk create the Rose identity.
Died In: Spider-Man vs. Wolverine 1, recapped in a flash back during Amazing Spider-Man 289.
What's His Problem? Leeds, a successful investigative reporter if not a successful husband (his marriage to Betty Brant was always on the verge of breaking up), got too a little too close to Roderick Kingsley, the original Hobgoblin, and was nabbed. Hobby brainwashed him, and used Leeds as a stand-in on numerous occasions. Or, anyway, that's Marvel's story, and for now they're sticking to it. (The story before the Hobgoblin Returns mini-series was that Ned, sick of organized crime, recruited the Kingpin's son, Richard, to help him work within the organization to bring it down. I like that version a whole lot more!)
Abilities: Leeds was a determined and driven man when he was on a story. He also managed to successfully dodge Spidey lots of times while he was the Hobgoblin, despite his lack of any super-powers. All of the Hobgoblins, and even most of the Green Goblins, have been able to thwart Spidey without super-strength or super-agility or super-anything other than super-cunning. Mind you, those that survived the experience scrambled for super-powers later!
Heroes He Kept Running Into: Like all the Goblin villains, Leeds was exclusively a Spider-Man baddie. His real enemies turned out to be a couple of fellow bad guys: Jason Macendale, who became the next Hobgoblin, and the Foreigner, the European equivalent of the Kingpin. The two worked together to set up Leeds' murder after Kingsley, hoping someone would bump Ned off, leaked word of Leeds' double life to the underworld.
People Who Think He's Not So Bad: Leeds' estranged wife Betty Brant became a lot fonder of Ned after he was killed than she was right before he died -- heck, for most of their relationship. The crime lord known as the Rose still remembers Leeds and his partnership with the Hobgoblin wistfully.

Most Despicable Act: Again, this gets tricky since the official line is that there were two Hobgoblins between Amazing Spider-Man 253 and Amazing Spider-Man 289, when Leeds was killed and Kingsley went into retirement. It may or may not have been Ned who tossed Sha-shan off the Goblin glider in Amazing Spider-Man 275; it may or may not have been Ned who left the Rose to die when the latter was under heavy fire in Amazing Spider-Man 286. It's hard to even know when Ned was acting under duress and when he knew what he was doing, since Kingsley later complained to Leeds' widow that the "brain-washed" Ned was uncontrollable and inclined to go off on his own. You might want to go read the original issues and decide for yourself!


Ned Leeds Mug Shots!


Amazing Spider-Man 149
1975

Ned reveals all
to Richard Fisk!

Amazing Spider-Man 289
1987


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